Enjoying some old posts the other day when I came across this gem:
Hope the original poster, gon4elk, won't mind. I wanted to add my own story and encourage other too as well. One of the things I took from the original thread is not only what tough animals elk (and other ungulates) are, but also the importance of shot placement. I know the ideal shot is hard to come by, but for me personally I gained a renewed desire to take only a shot deserving of my quarry.
My story is from just a few years back while hunting elk in western WY. One of the guys in camp shot a nice 5x5, and as we cleaned him out discovered that he had previously been shot by an archery hunter. There was no broadhead or fletchings, just about 12-14 inches of shaft left right under and perpendicular to the spine. It had been healed over with a very tough layer of callous but from what we could tell hadn't adversely affected the bull in any way. Luckily we had the presence of mind to get a quick photo, even though the weather was terrible and we were in some nasty country (imagine that).